While many in the professional and non-league game will view England C’s forthcoming International Challenge Trophy final vs Belgium on May 19th as an indication of the healthy state of the current non-league game, it could be argued that the week preceding this fixture is also of paramount importance to ensuring the continued success of the non-league pyramid.
The week in question of course will see approximately 250 released Apprentices & 1st year professionals from Premier League and Football League Clubs attend LFE’s annual Assessment Trials.
Hosted at Brentford’s Griffin Park, Walsall’s Banks’ Stadium and Bradford City’s Valley Parade the Trials aim to re-route players into either professional or semi professional football in the UK and across Europe.
While the untrained eye might not recognise their immediate importance to the non-league game it only takes a moment to glance at the composition of the England C squad to realise they are not to be understated.
For Manager Paul Fairclough’s squad which consists of the cream of players from Conference level and below, contains no fewer than 10 former Apprentices/Scholars from Football League and Premier League Clubs within its ranks (9 from The Football League – 1 FAPL) meaning that the Assessment Trials are the ideal place to see non-league gems of tomorrow.